Bolten to Replace Card As Chief of Staff
WASHINGTON (AP) - White House chief of staff Andy Card has resigned and will be replaced by budget director Joshua Bolten, President Bush announced Tuesday amid growing calls for a White House shakeup and Republican concern about Bush's tumbling poll ratings. Bush announced the changes in a nationally broadcast appearance in the Oval Office.
Afghan Convert Is Released, Then Vanishes
KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) - An Afghan man who had faced the death penalty for converting from Islam to Christianity quickly vanished Tuesday after he was released from prison, apparently out of fear for his life with Muslim clerics still demanding his death. Italy's Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini said he would ask his government to grant Abdul Rahman asylum. Fini was among the first to speak out on the man's behalf.
French Hold Massive Protest Amid Strike
PARIS (AP) - Nationwide strikes disrupted airline, train and bus services, and sent more than 200,000 protesters into the streets across France on Tuesday as unions joined in solidarity with students angered by a new youth labor law. As public pressure mounted amid the largest demonstrations yet against the controversial employment contract, cracks appeared within the conservative government.
Israeli Vote on Future of the West Bank
JERUSALEM (AP) - Israelis voted Tuesday in an election billed as a referendum on the future of the West Bank, with the leading candidate, acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, promising to pull back from most of the territory and draw Israel's final borders by 2010. Barring an unexpected surge by hawkish parties, Israelis were expected to give a green light to Olmert's proposal to separate from most Palestinians after 39 years of military occupation.
Ex-Liberian President Taylor Disappears
ABUJA, Nigeria (AP) - Former Liberian President Charles Taylor disappeared from his Nigerian haven, days after his hosts agreed to transfer him to a war crimes tribunal for the murder, rape and maiming of more than a half-million Africans, officials said Tuesday. The announcement of Taylor's disappearance came the day before Nigerian leader Olusegun Obasanjo was to meet with President Bush at the White House.
Consumer Confidence Highest Since 2002
NEW YORK (AP) - Americans' optimism in the economy rebounded in March, sending a widely followed barometer of consumer sentiment to a near four-year high, a private research group said Tuesday. The Conference Board said that its consumer index shot up 4.5 points to 107.2, the highest level since May 2002, when the reading was 110.3. Analysts had expected a reading of 102.
Eclipse Tomorrow Will Blot Out the Sun
ACCRA, Ghana (AP) - Tourists and scientists were gathering at spots around the world for a solar show - the first total eclipse in years, which will sweep northeast from Brazil to Mongolia, blotting out the sun across swathes of of the world's poorest lands. Wednesday's eclipse will blot out the sun in highly populated areas, including west Africa, where governments scrambled to educate people about the dangers of looking at the eclipse without proper eye protection.
Star Jones Disputes Surgery Dangers
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Star Jones Reynolds said Monday that reports of her plastic surgery perils were greatly exaggerated. Jones Reynolds, a host of "The View," called the daytime talk show to discuss her breast-lift surgery and to dispute what another host, Meredith Vieira, described as "rumors circulating that she almost died."
Man Is Charged $4,300 for Four Burgers
PALMDALE, Calif. (AP) - Four burgers at his neighborhood Burger King cost George Beane a whopping $4,334.33. Beane ordered two Whopper Jr.s and two Rodeo cheeseburgers when he pulled up to the drive-through window last Tuesday. The cashier, however, forgot that she'd entered the $4.33 charge on his debit card and punched in the numbers again without erasing the original ones - thus creating a four-figure bill.
Barry Bonds Says 'My Life Is in Shambles'
SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (AP) - Seven home runs shy of passing Babe Ruth, this should be a time of unbridled joy and excitement for Barry Bonds. Not so, he says. "My life is in shambles. It is crazy," Bonds said Monday in an interview with The Associated Press. "It couldn't get any crazier. I'm just trying to stay sane." Then, clearly joking, he went for shock value: "Go to the Empire State Building and jump off, commit suicide and people can say, 'Barry Bonds is finally dead.' Except for in San Francisco," he said. "I'll leave something for them."